Sing-alongs, Sprinkles, and Sister Act 2 –
Does Whimsy Lead to Success?

I am so excited to have the queen of Whimsy, Annie Passanisi, here herself! 

I introduced her to you briefly last whimsy week when she so generously offered, us a free copy of her whimsy guide book Whimsy for Wendys. Well she is back and is sweetening the pot. In addition to  arriving with a gift of another copy of the ebook (details on how you can win are at the  bottom of the page) she is also offering a 40% discount off the  e-book for all Bliss Habits readers, just head on over  to Whimsy for Wendys headquarters and enter the code “Sprinkle” to receive the discount!

Annie just oozes delight. Happiness is contagious around her. Enjoy catching some!

"We All Scream" by Meg (click image for details)

 

As a child (and ok, as an adult, too) I idolized the movie Sister Act 2: Whoopie Goldberg in a habit, Lauryn Hill’s bone-chilling “His Eye is On The Sparrow” (“You know I can’t sing like you, girl…”) and the moral of the story, one for the ages (or at least the 90s), “If you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere, you better wake up and paaaaaaay attention.” I swore, somewhere between Whoopie getting back in the habit and St. Francis Gospel Choir’s big win, that if I ever got my chance to pull a Sister Mary Clarence I’d make it count.

On Saturday, I found myself in front of 35 inner city kids ages 12-17. Average height? 5’ 8”. (I’m 4’11”). Average attention span? Zip. And they were mine, all mine for two hours.

I called upon the spirit of Dolores Von Cartier, Las Vegas Headliner, for guidance, dug deep, and decided to stick to what I know.

I made them play.

We shook our bodies, learned how challenging it can be to count to three (whilst jumping up and down), and made utter fools of ourselves dancing in unison to a song called “Big Booty.” And somehow, someway, despite ample amount of initial eye-rolling, back-talk and oppressive timidity, by the time the clock struck 3 and the ice cream was served, I knew it had all been worthwhile.

“Why did I make you play these games?” I asked them over sprinkle-laden ice-cream. Eye-contact? Yes. Ice breaking? Yes. Participation, cooperation, collaboration? Yes, yes, and yes. But the real reason was much simpler, it is vitally important to play as hard as you work.

These kids have been through the self-help ringer. Even the youngest of the bunch could probably give a 2 hour keynote about the importance of staying in school, away from drugs, and hitting the books hard. And yet, they are told to “act their age,” “get serious” or “grow up” on a daily basis.

Sorry, everyone, but I beg, plead, and demand to differ. And you know who agrees with me? The Harvard Business Review. The January-February 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review is devoted to “The Happiness Factor.” Countless books such as Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage , Dan Baker’s What Happy Companies Know and Martin E.P. Seligman’s Flourish offer irrefutable evidence that happiness precedes success – not the other way around. This success permeates the boardroom, breakroom, and bedroom and applies to people of all ages, creeds, and professions.

Happy people live longer, recover from health issues more often and quickly, enjoy more stable and satisfying relationships, live in more vibrant, benevolent communities – and as I promised these underprivileged/overworked kids – it’s a huge contributor to business success, creativity, productivity, and income!

And what’s the quickest way to pull yourself out of an emotional rut? Bond with coworkers or cranky family members?Build rapport? Lower your heart rate?

Play, or as I love to say “whimsify.”

And, just like exercising a muscle or perfecting a job skill, I’m not taking once or twice, I’m talking every single day. Bonus points apply for multiple times a day.

And the best part is just about anything can be whimsified. Don’t have two hours to shake your booty? Start with commercial breaks during mindless YV, or on the way back from the bathroom during frazzled work marathons. (Handicapped bathrooms provide enough floor space for a boogie right then and there.)

Clock the times your co-worker uses that word you they overuse. Every 50th time buy yourself a sundae. Develop a signature move with your gym buddies in Zumba class. Challenge the stick-thin girls in the front row to a dance off. Wear something sparkly. Kick your mother in law’s butt at Scrabble.

You’ve made your bed – now jump on it.

If these kids with the odds stacked against them from the get go (from family addictions to homelessness to mental disabilities) get it, you have no excuses.

It’s not novelty, it’s not woowoo. It’s pure unadulterated whimsy – now scientifically proven to pack a life-changing wallop.

Do it for yourself. Hell, do it for Whoopie.

And above all else, remember, “if you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention” – and once you get there, it would be a damn shame not to have a little fun.

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Annie Passanisi, Happiness Advocate and w Whimsy Coach, is a second generation motivator, as well as a Chicago-based actor and writer. She is the author of The Spark Anthology, Whimsy for Wendys and Happiness Advocacy or How Positive Psychology Will Save Us from Zombies . Annie is 4’11”, bakes a mean cherry pie, loves Nat King Cole, and would like to remind you that your good mood isn’t a right – it’s a civic duty.

 

She can be found::

Homepage: Happiness Advocates
Book site: Whimsy for Wendys
Twitter @boopboopbdoop
Video blog: http://www.vimeo.com/happinessadvocates

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Win a copy of the fabulous ebook!

So here is how it is going to work:

You enter by leaving a comment on this post telling Annie and I about your favorite whimsy and/or why you would like more whimsy in your life. Please leave an email or blog address where I may reach you if you are the winner.

  • You get additional entries once you have completed the above by commenting on any Bliss Habit’s post this week. One comment  on every post will count. (If you already commented this week that will count!)
  • You get an additional entry by tweeting your whimsy (tweets provided!)

Whimsy – now scientifically proven to pack a life-changing wallop!  http://bit.ly/AsZIOR #Whimsy #Giveaway  via @BlissHabits

or

“It is vitally important to play as hard as you work” ~ Annie Passanisi  http://bit.ly/AsZIOR #Whimsy #Giveaway  via @BlissHabits

  • You also get an additional entry for every facebook or google+ share of a Bliss Habit’s whimsy post this week! Just stop back here and let me know you have done so (just in case I missed it!)

The winner will be selected from all the entries received by Midnight Pacific Time this Sunday, May 3rd.

Pretty fun, eh?!

So go on… tell me, what is your whimsy?

And remember, if you can’t wait and want a copy of the book NOW just head on over Whimsy for Wendys headquarters and use the code “Sprinkle” to receive a 40% discount and a copy of the e-book immediately!

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7 thoughts on “Sing-alongs, Sprinkles, and Sister Act 2 –
Does Whimsy Lead to Success?

  1. Karen B says:

    I’m not sure that I have much whimsy in my life – so I guess I could use some more! I do enjoy my Lego (once a year at Christmas – as you have seen), I love to make cards and I’ve recently taken up knitting so that I can make toys! But I’m still one of those – ‘gotta take life seriously’ girls, who really believes that she’s too old for whimsy – so maybe your book can help me out!

    • Hello Karen!

      I find it so interesting that you consider yourself a ‘gotta take life seriously’ gal when you such fanciful hobbies! I think it reminds us all that balance is key – after all, too much whimsy can be like too much ice cream – you wind up with a sugar headache.

      My challenge for you to to start small – highlight one particular area of your life that could use a little sparkle and find tiny, even sneaky ways, to bring them in.

      You don’t have to over do it, or lose track of the serious side of life. You’re just polishing it up a bit!

      And you are never, never, NEVER too old for whimsy. Don’t let the Wendy Syndrome, bring you down!

  2. Efsun Alper says:

    Wonderful post Annie! I’m an actor by trade and taught drama/literacy in the Bronx for a short time before my daughter was born. It was exactly what you said. These kids also came from such harsh backgrounds that our drama sessions were a great outlet to blow off some steam and enjoy being kids. “Play” is definitely the thing! As an added bonus, their grades went up 🙂

    • I am giving you a standing O right now for being a drama teacher! Three cheers for you and a big bravo. Mine was a humungous influence on my life and I love him dearly. I’m sure you made a helluva impact.

      How do you play in your everyday life? (I certainly hope you kept some of the good you’ve spread around for yourself.)

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